Is Pilates Strength Training? [Here is The Answer]

Is Pilates Strength Training
Is Pilates Strength Training?

Pilates comes in many forms and workout programs can be adjusted to almost anyone.

It is a great form of exercise and it has many beneficial effects on our bodies.

But, is Pilates strength training?

Pilates is a strength training, however, in form of general fitness. Practicing Pilates will not turn you into a body-builder, but it will develop your muscles and improve your fitness level. Building strength with Pilates is definitely possible.

If you are interested in some form of strength training, but you are not sure if Pilates will satisfy your needs, read the following chapters:

What Does Strength Training Mean?

To determine if Pilates is a good strength training, you must know what strength training actually is.

Strength training can be described as performing exercises which are made to increase your strength and endurance.

Many people think that for strength training you need to use weights, preferably heavy ones, and that high load is necessary. If you are a professional athlete, or involved in body-building, strength training will probably look like that.

However, for those who workout for health and pleasure, strength training can be done differently.

Working out by using your own body weight can be very demanding, especially for those who are out of shape.

Strength training is important for health and well-being.

By building strength your muscles can support you, your posture improves, and you have more endurance. These benefits are important in everyday life too.

Those who are fit and strong can easily do things which are hard for those out of shape.

Besides, as we get older, our muscle tissue reduces, we become less active and our joints start to suffer.

These processes are a part of life and can’t be avoided, however, they can be postponed and reduced by properly performing strength training.

Another fact about strength training is that is not meant to be practiced by healthy people only.

Those who are recovering from serious conditions are often advised to do this kind of workout, under the doctor’s supervision of course.

When performing strength training, you are going to do exercises which overload certain muscle groups.

These are usually done in a few sets, where every set has a certain number of repetitions.

So, Is Pilates Strength Training?

As already mentioned, YES, Pilates is strength training.

But there are limits of what you can do with it …

Pilates is great for your core, and it will activate and develop even the deep muscles, usually skipped by other training programs.

Pilates can be done with props, such as relatively light weights, bars, balls, elastic bands and similar, which can add load and increase your muscle activity.

Using your own weight, in a proper and controlled manner, is hard, even harder than working out with some weights in the gym.

To some it can seem impossible, but Pilates is very good for increasing strength.

Someone who never practiced any form of workout does not need weights immediately, and more damage than good can be done by performing such exercises, especially without a trainer.

When doing Pilates, you can adjust your training program to target those muscle groups you want to make stronger.

Additionally, Pilates has a strong focus on stretching and stability too. It decreases the possibility of injuries which are frequent in other forms of strength training.

For those who want to be healthier, lose a bit of weight, have nice and toned muscles, reduce the back pain, Pilates is a great option.

For those who wish to do some serious strength training, but have no experience with workout, Pilates can be a great starting point.

You will develop a bit of strength, and learn about it, before you make progress to lifting heavy weights.

Can Pilates Replace Strength Training?

This is a question similar to is Pilates strength training?

To be honest, NO, it can’t replace it, for someone who is a professional athlete of any kind.

But for a regular person who wants to increase their fitness level, Pilates can replace other strength training options.

Let’s face it, many beginners can’t even do a push-up. If you are one of those people, Pilates can definitely be a great strength training.

Pilates is also great to be combined with other sport activities, such as running or biking.

In those activities, you are focused a lot on endurance and less on strength, so adding a bit of strength training is good.

But to be able to run long distance, you shouldn’t build up too much muscles and increase your body weight, so lifting heavy loads 5 times a week in a gym is not an option.

By practicing Pilates you will get a bit stronger, and more flexible, which is important for reducing the risk from injuries in other sports.

Additionally, it will help you with sore muscles and reduce that occurrence.

As a form of strength training, Pilates is also great for those with sensitive joints or previous injuries caused by high-impact activities.

If you want – here you can compare Pilates Body vs Gym Body.

Is Pilates Good for Building Muscle?

Pilates is good for a lot of things, including building your muscles.

As already mentioned, those whit highly developed muscle groups will not benefit from it, but an average person will.

It also depends a lot on your commitment.

If you are exercising regularly, you do it properly and target muscle groups you want to, you will definitely see the improvement.

Those who practice Pilates once a week for 30 minutes will not see the difference, but it is like that with every form of exercise.

Many people start practicing Pilates to lose a bit of weight and to look better.

To accomplish that, you will need to improve other aspects of your life, such as your eating habits. If you do it right, you may even see your abs after a few months!

To build muscles, find a Pilates program which is oriented towards this goal.

You can even use props to increase the efficiency of certain exercises. Almost every exercise done in Pilates can be taken to another level by adding weight or using machines.

Make sure you start at an appropriate level.

If you are a beginner, don’t skip the first steps and jump to advanced programs immediately.

The most important thing about Pilates, and all other fitness activities, is knowing how to do exercises properly, to minimize injuries and increase efficiency.

As you make progress, you will soon feel and see that your muscles are getting stronger, and even more visible.


Many people ask: “Is Pilates strength training?“.

And the answer is very individual. It depends on your fitness level a lot, but for majority of people it can be seen as a strength training.

Building up strength and muscles is a process, and you will have to work hard to reach your goals.

Pilates is a good way to start because it has many benefits and it is fun to do. There are hundreds of exercises which can be combined to make a perfect workout for your needs.

Be mindful and listen to your body.

If you do not see any improvement or you think that it is time to make progress to some serious strength training, consult a professional trainer and get a plan.

By Sina

My name is Sina, and since young age, I have been passionate about sports. This website is a result of it, and my goal is to share my experience with all of you. Read more about me ....